Kashmir in ‘salwar kameez’ is orthodox and sad. Kashmir in jeans is liberal and happy. Kashmir at ‘dastwarkhan’ is a terrorist. Kashmir at the KFC or CCD is moderate. Kashmir watching PTV and QTV doesn’t want to forget. Kashmir watching MTV, Sony and the IPL on Set Max is all set to forget, forgive and move on. And ‘why at all it is obscene to move on’ is the latest mantra.
Kashmir is a ‘nuclear flash point’, we hear from THEM. Kashmir is the ‘world’s highest militarized zone’, we hear from THEM. Kashmir is a ‘beautiful prison’, we hear from THEM.
Kashmir is on the boil, we hear from them. Kashmir is burning, we hear from them. Kashmir is an issue, we hear from them. Kashmir is a dispute, we hear from ‘them’. Kashmir is an ‘integral part of India’, we hear from them. Kashmir is the ‘jugular vein of Pakistan’, we hear from ‘them’. Kashmir is sad, we hear from them. Kashmir is volatile, we hear from them.
And now – all of a sudden – we are told that Kashmir is happy. Kashmir wants to forget. Kashmir wants to forgive. Kashmir wants to move on. Kashmir wants to forget its past.
This too, we hear from them.
They decide whether Kashmir is happy or sad. They decide what Kashmir should get and what not. They decide what Kashmir deserves and what not. They decide what is good for Kashmir and what not. They decide whether the independence is a viable option or not.
They decide whether the calm is “deceptive, temporary or permanent”. They decide whether the “common sense is finally prevailing and winning” or “missing”, or may be, enforced to “custodial disappearance”, or possibly, killed in a “fake encounter”, or buried in the “mass graves”.
They decide. Kashmir listens.
If a poor ‘shikara wallah’ wearing a traditional skullcap is roving his boat in the Dal Lake by early morning to earn his livelihood, it means that he wants to move on with his routine chores and that he does not have to do anything with the struggle anymore. If any hotelier wants all rooms to be occupied with foreign tourists, it means he/she wants to move on and does not want change for Kashmir. If a travel agent has this desire that tourists in large numbers should visit the Valley, it means he/she has forgot all the sacrifices offered by the Kashmiri nation so far. If a student sips Cappuccino at Coffee Arabica or eats a burger at Coffee Café Day in Srinagar, it means he/she is happy with India. If a couple listens to some romantic ‘ghazals’ at a restaurant, it means that it has given up on the basic rights. And yes, if Kashmiris wear jeans; it means they are happy! Even the presence of troops and army men does not bother them anymore!!
But, if Kashmiris are updating status on the Facebook; they are danger to peace, security and stability. If the state’s boss is on the Twitter, it means that PEACE has returned.
This is what they write: Trauma in Kashmir is like a heritage building—the elite fight to preserve it. ‘Don’t forget,’ is their predominant message, ‘Don’t forget to be traumatised.’… ….Is it obscene to search for happiness in Kashmir? Is it obscene for a writer from the south of India to wander around Kashmir interviewing people who will tell him that they want to get on with their lives despite the presence of the Indian Army? What is the stake of an outsider in Kashmir? The fact is that Kashmir, too, has occupied India. Kashmir is the reason why India is one of the worst victims of terrorism. All Indians have a stake in Kashmir’s state of mind."
We make analysis so complicated, unnecessarily. See, how simple it is.
In fact, writers with such mindset are a potential threat to peace and tranquility because they seem to be suggesting, ‘If a rape becomes unavoidable; enjoy it.’ Kashmir wishes all writers with such mindset a speedy recovery! Get well soon!!
America has ‘moved on’ and ‘forgot’ 9/11 and left both Iraq and Afghanistan, withdrew its troops from these two countries. India too has ‘moved on’ and ‘forgot’ 26/11 Mumbai attacks and 2001 attacks and made peace with its neighbour Pakistan. Muslims in India have ‘moved on’ and ‘forgot’ Babri Masjid demolition and 2002 Gujarat pogrom, and are happy to be in the condition—social, political and economic— worst than that of Dalits. Palestine has ‘moved on’ and ‘forgot’ atrocities at the hands of Israel and its army, and accepted the occupation of its land as their fate. And if at all, all of this were true, Kashmir will never forget what India has done to Kashmir and Kashmiris. India has to answer, seek forgiveness, and get punished.
Mind you, Kashmir no more relies on craftily manipulated narratives of either India or Pakistan. It does not matter whether Pakistan leaders sing peace songs on their pilgrimage tours. It does not matter whether Imran Khans, Asif Zardaris, Manmohan Singhs and Lal Advanis would want to put the Kashmir issue on the backburner, arguing that the wiser generations would find a solution. What matters is what Kashmir wants and Kashmiris want.
By the way, the day these more than one million troops will leave Kashmir and start manning your streets rather than Kashmir’s, stay assured that Kashmir will let you know that Kashmiris are happy.
Don’t you worry about the appetite of Kashmiris! Until then, take a chill pill and relax!!
The author is a Journalist and can be mailed at email@example.com
America has ‘moved on’ and ‘forgot’ 9/11 and left both Iraq and Afghanistan, withdrew its troops from these two countries. India too has ‘moved on’ and ‘forgot’ 26/11 Mumbai attacks and 2001 attacks and made peace with its neighbour Pakistan. Muslims in India have ‘moved on’ and ‘forgot’ Babri Masjid demolition and 2002 Gujarat pogrom, and are happy to be in the condition—social, political and economic— worst than that of Dalits. Palestine has ‘moved on’ and ‘forgot’ atrocities at the hands of Israel and its army, and accepted the occupation of its land as their fate.